October 28, 2014

New lawyer’s guide focuses on money laundering detection and prevention

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2014 – The American Bar Association, International Bar Association and Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe released a joint publication titled “A Lawyer’s Guide to Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering” during the IBA’s conference in Tokyo Oct. 22.

“Money laundering and terrorist financing represent serious threats to life and society and result in violence, fuel further criminal activity and threaten the foundations of the rule of law,” according to the guide. “While bar associations around the world play a key role in educating the legal profession, the onus remains on individual lawyers and on law firms to ensure that they are aware of and comply with their anti-money laundering obligations.”

 The free resource guide provides practical tips to help lawyers in the U.S. and around the world avoid inadvertently participating in money laundering activities and to help them comply with their legal obligations to fight money laundering where they apply.

It includes information on:

  • International and national sources of anti-money laundering obligations
  • Discussion of the vulnerabilities of the legal profession to misuse by criminals involved in money laundering
  • Discussion of the risk-based approach to detecting red flags, red flag indicators of money laundering and how to respond to them
  • Case studies illustrating how red flags may arise in the context of providing legal advice.            

Kevin L. Shepherd, chair of the ABA Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession, led the ABA working group that participated in developing the guide.

The ABA has played a leading role in promoting risk-based measures designed to fight money laundering while protecting the attorney-client privilege. In addition to the new guide, the ABA helped develop the "Voluntary Good Practices Guidance for Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing" in 2010 and continues to urge lawyers throughout the U.S. to follow the guidance.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.